In-school weekly programming also resumed at five different high school locations this month. Since Girls Group begins with participants in middle school, many returning members already had a good idea about what to expect when they came to their first in-person high school program this month. At their first session, returning participants were thrilled to connect with old friends, see their mentors, and, of course, get to know the new members who decided to join Girls Group this year. Similarly, those who just joined Girls Group were excited to hear more about the program and get to know their new friends and mentors.
At all of the high school sites, participants got a chance to learn more about each other through activities inspired by their interests. For example, after receiving feedback at the first session that participants enjoy crafting, Girls Group staff brought materials to the next session for the group members to express themselves through mixed-media artwork. Each participant created a cardboard cut-out of their first initial then used an array of materials to represent qualities and characteristics about themselves that they are proud of. Meanwhile, at another site with participants who enjoy writing, group members completed a similar activity where they wrote their full name on colorful paper and included words and phrases to represent their favorite things.
The activities and conversations allowed the participants to quickly establish a sense of trust and support among themselves. By only the third and fourth sessions this month, participants already shared personal stories about heavy topics including grief, poor body image, unhealthy relationships, and more. Although the programs can feel intense at times, they are also filled with the encouragement, support, love, and appreciation of the whole group.